“Did Trump have clear authority under international law to attack Syria?” NY Times


"President Trump ordered the military on Thursday to carry out a missile attack on Syrian forces for using chemical weapons against civilians. The unilateral attack lacked authorization from Congress or from the United Nations Security Council, raising the question of whether he had legal authority to commit the act of war.

Mr. Trump and top members of his administration initially justified the operation as a punishment for Syria’s violating the ban on chemical weapons and an attempt at deterrence. But they did not make clear whether that was a legal argument or just a policy rationale.

The strike raises two sets of legal issues. One involves international law and when it is lawful for any nation to attack another. The other involves domestic law and who gets to decide — the president or Congress — whether the United States should attack another country.

Did Trump have clear authority under international law to attack Syria?

No. The United Nations Charter, a treaty the United States has ratified, recognizes two justifications for using force on another country’s soil without its consent: the permission of the Security Council or a self-defense claim. In the case of Syria, the United Nations did not approve the strike, and the Defense Department justified it as “intended to deter the regime from using chemical weapons again,” which is not self-defense. "  NY Times


IMO it is very clear that the order for the strike on Shaykat air base in Syria was illegal in both international and US law.  The Democrats have been searching for grounds for impeachment.  Is commission of a criminal act using the powers of his office not an impeachable offense?  pl 


This entry was posted in As The Borg Turns, Borg Wars, Current Affairs, Israel, Middle East, Russia, Syria. Bookmark the permalink.

149 Responses to “Did Trump have clear authority under international law to attack Syria?” NY Times

  1. Edward Amame says:

    I wouldn’t count on Dem’s calling for impeachment over this. Apparently Washington DC, both Dem and GOP (except for Rand Paul), were thrilled with Trump’s manly display of muscle in Syria. He’s probably still basking in the afterglow.

  2. eakens says:

    Why would they impeach him now that he has gone full neocon? Of course, for the reason you stated, there is no turning back now for him. We’re screwed.

  3. b says:

    I am not aware that any U.S. president was ever impeached for starting an illegal war. The Democrats are falling over each other in lauding Trump for his stupid decision. Well, at least he got the RussiaGate nonsense off his back – for now.
    The neocons and hawks will now demand more strikes and finally regime change in favor of the Takfiris. Al-Qaeda via the MIT and/or the CIA will provide for more “chemical attacks” to give justification to whatever/whenever is needed.
    Trump likely lost his chance for reelection with this stunt. His base is no gone. He should have listened to his strategist, not to the neoconned NSC that was pushed onto him.

  4. Former 11B says:

    Yep. Dem’s are all in. Not allowing snowflakes to use whatever bathroom validates them? Impeachment grounds for sure. Illegal strikes at Isreal’s direction? Bad ass, welcome to the club, lets have a parade!
    We are so screwed

  5. A. Pols says:

    “When the president does it, it’s not illegal”
    That’s pretty much how we roll these days.
    Both sides of the aisle love that sort of “decisiveness”

  6. Dante Alighieri says:

    Trump is taking his legal justification straight from the Obama book! Those who placed their hopes (or any hopes, for that matter
    ) on a Trump presidency are now scrambling to rationalize their utter delusions. It would be a joke if it wasn’t so serious. Would Col. Lang now really like to see this man impeached (IMO the best option, although entirely unrealistic)? I’m honestly flabbergasted. You promoted him, so you own him, for better or worse. But please don’t play such games.

  7. Kutte says:

    Trump was tricked into attacking Syria, probably with the promise that the “borg” (or deep state, or whatever) would go easy on him as a reward. Now they got him where they wanted him, and are going to impeach him. Some similarity to JFK being tricked into the hopeless Bay-of-pigs operation. Sound plausible?

  8. LeaNder says:

    just curious, since Bannon made news and concerns here in the comment section lately, followed by interpretations one way or another, what did Breitbart have to say Assad’s latest poison attack:

  9. Poul says:

    Hillary Clinton got the President’s back on the Syria strike. So I doubt the Democrats will lift a finger.

  10. ambrit says:

    First; why would the Democrat Party want to deal with a President Pence? Wouldn’t he be a more canny and effective opponent to them? The next in line is Paul Ryan, Right? Hah!
    Second; an impeachment would open a real can of worms domestically. This isn’t any run of the mill b— job case. A real struggle for dominance in foreign policy is probable, with the spectre of the awakening of America’s Isolationist tendency among it’s population haunting the scene. The Borg has constructed a case for American Exceptionalism. Impeaching Trump on a case based upon the antithesis of American Exceptionalism would be “shoot yourself in the foot” level of bungling.
    Third; even though, as Truman signaled, “The buck stops here,” the mechanism of influence that convinced Trump to order the strike is of great importance. Who said what and when is crucial to predicting the future of this dangerous game we have all been “invited” to.
    Thanks for your indulgence.

  11. LeaNder says:

    The Democrats have been searching for grounds for impeachment. Is commission of a criminal act using the powers of his office not an impeachable offense? pl
    I may not have quite grasped the impeachment heat here on SST to the extend I should, and thus couldn’t connect to (Gaius) Publius Tacitus. Harper? (not sure?) Maybe? The expat US expat impeachment representatives in German political talk shows felt a bit lost in the debate wilderness over here.
    But this is certainly a good question.

  12. AndreL says:

    The Republican Party owns all branches of government. As long as Trump trickles down the goodies through exec orders and appointments and signs their legislation, impeachment is a pipe dream.

  13. turcopolier says:

    Dante Alighieri
    A standard method of troll attack is to misquote someone and then comment on the false narrative. I did not support Trump for election. I did not give him money for his campaign. Nor did I vote for him or Pence. I revere the constitutional order in the US. It is the basis of our lives. Trump was legitimately elected president of the Unite States. The importance of a devotion to the original text and virtue of the Constitution of the United States may not be apparent to someone from another country where things like constitutions come and go or are not even written documents as in the UK and Israel, but the Constitution of the United States is what holds the country together. To seek to unconstitutionally remove a president from office is for me and many other Americans the worst possible civic “sin.” You say that I have “promoted” Trump. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I accept his legally exercised authority as president/CinC so long as he legally holds office. The question I raise in this post is whether or not he has violated the terms of his oath of office and provided his opponents grounds for constitutional action against him IMO, he has. Whether or not I will begin to agitate against him is a question I have not yet answered for myself. pl

  14. turcopolier says:

    I agree that he has largely destroyed himself politically. This will become evident as time passes. He was easily trapped by the neocons. His ego and ignorance were his undoing. “I am not aware that any U.S. president was ever impeached for starting an illegal war” I am curious as to which US wars were illegal from your POV. pl

  15. Bobo says:

    Legal Authority is for lawyers to discuss as that is all they are good for, maybe too harsh. This was a CW event with innocents being harmed. Does not matter whose chemicals were involved or whose bomb was dropped by whose plane or who hyped the filmed event it happened in Syria and Syria is responsible for this long lasting internal war. Thus rather than procrastinating over who, what and where Syria was slapped which actually was a very minor slap but a very significant one. Thus they should beware as the next slap will be a proportionately larger one.
    Impeachment seems to get dragged out way too often with this very young presidency and I’m sure it will be a discussed constantly over the next four years but this guy thrives in chaos and knows how to turn the tables quite quickly. Just look at them jackals screaming for his head a few days ago are now praising him.
    So what was achieved with this slap. The Chinese now understand the mans capability, the Russia thing has been turned on its head, the Dems are on their rear end, Putin is now re-thinking Syria and ISIS knows they are next. But that is this weekend who knows what happens next.

  16. TV says:

    Get ready for more of this.
    Trump operates from “gut” or instinct.
    Sometimes that looks brilliant, most of the time, it’s dangerous.
    In the real estate business or reality TV, it’s only about money.
    Now, it’s about lives.
    Obama was so far the other way that decisions were not made or obfuscated.
    Is there someone – not driven by ideology or the “gut” – out there?
    You know, an adult.

  17. turcopolier says:

    So, basically, you are a social Darwinist who has no time for the rule of law at all. Teddy Roosevelt walks the earth again, eh? “Pedicaris alive or Raisuli dead!” The Russians are re-thinking Syria? How do you know that? pl

  18. IMO it will not take a great deal of skill by historians in the future to document that all BOOMER PRESIDENTS so far [Clinton-Trump] were largely uneducated WAR CRIMINALS!
    And presidential decisions should be represented by WRITTEN ORDERS not informal oral discussion!
    What is the best book on RTP vis a vis the Nation-State System?

  19. Degringolade says:

    This is a question for the folks here.
    One of the things that I think have gone someone unnoticed is that Trump was meeting with Xi down in Florida when the attack was launched. It is my understanding that nothing came out of this erstwhile “Summit”.
    But I think that Xi probably took home lessons about Trump. Being able to observe directly the demeanor and the actions of a potential opponent during a “crisis” provides same damn fine “tells”.
    China has consistently backed Russia on Syria in the Security Council. They know that this action is contrary to international law. It also tells them just how low the bar is to military action is here in the US. It also tells them that the standard of evidence for that use is even more so.
    China and Russia have been making nice lately. Russia opening a branch of it’s central bank in Beijing and the ongoing work on the New Silk road make me think that there is a lot of common interests.
    This premature and poorly thought out attack on what Russia considers part and parcel of its national interests, and Xi’s front row seat at the spectacle may push them even further down the path to what may prove to end up a military alliance.

  20. Matt says:

    I admire your confidence that there will be historians or a future to document what is coming to a head at the moment,
    when the President of a country, that has a military budget equal to the combined budgets of the next seven biggest spenders on the planet, spits out his dummy because he didn’t like the latest ‘video nasty’ from the White Helmets and flings $100 million in ordinance at a foriegn country without even considering legality, I kinda sit up and take notice,
    call me a pussy if you like, but aren’t we watching people play ‘Russian Roulette’ with the future of the planet?

  21. Emad says:

    I for one am interested in Tyler’s take on all of this. Maybe the good Colonel can have Tyler write his impressions of Trump’s presidency so far?

  22. kooshy says:

    Did anyone heard what became of Xi visit?, no press conference, no interview, not much news coverage, seems he left quietly. It’s strange there was no joint presser .

  23. Bobo says:

    Teddy was well rounded and had substance this guy lacks both. The dig(s) were not charitable. We now know how this guy will react to North Korea which breaks anything legal ever written. It concerns me that Rex seems to have written off Diplomacy and the military is moving NW into that theater. Hopefully the Chinese leader understands the ramifications and has some ability to control that situation.
    I did vote for the man and still support him as the alternative was unthinkable.

  24. Bill H says:

    turcopolier: re, “Putin is now re-thinking Syria”
    He knows that, Colonel, because he has been told by the Washington groupthink that if we pressure Putin he will back down. 59 cruise missiles is certainly pressure, right, so Putin is certainly backing down and will run like a rabbit. Actually, he will pass rabbits on his way out of Syria. He will leave them in his wake, panting their little lungs out.

  25. BillWade says:

    “are now scrambling to rationalize their utter delusions”. Actually, they aren’t. About 65% of Trump supporters have now changed their minds, they weren’t “deluded” votes, they now feel they are “lied to” voters, big difference in my opinion.
    Last week the Trump opposition wanted the “latest and greatest Hitler” impeached, they really should go for it and prove their integrity, I’ll applaud them.

  26. “Those who placed their hopes (or any hopes, for that matter
    ) on a Trump presidency are now scrambling to rationalize their utter delusions.”
    Trump is the first politician I can remember who put Neocon Foreign Policy, outsourcing and immigration squarely up for debate. Before him such subjects were fringe. Now they’re mainstream. His proposals, or suggestions, on such subjects were not “utter delusion”. They were common sense proposals. Proposals, incidentally, that if we in the West don’t heed we’re in trouble. The Trump movement, and the nascent parallel (though unfortunately not that similar) movements in England and Continental Europe are the most significant political movements in recent history.
    Now you assume he has reneged on his commitments. Maybe. I will confess I, though far removed from American politics, felt pretty sick over recent events so to that extent your schadenfreude may be justified; what happened looked to me like straight neocon foreign politics. Though the Colonel himself saw Trump as a chancer when he first surfaced, and has continued to be sceptical since, it is I think true that many others placed hopes in him as a politician who could carry through his policies.
    I don’t know whether that’s the case now. As I asked in a previous thread, has the Trump movement lost its figurehead? Has Trump switched to a neocon foreign policy, or is his a mistake made by an erratic and poorly advised politician?
    I hope it’s the latter, though better informed opinion on this site seems not to bear that hope out. Whatever the outcome, whether Trump has reneged on his commitments or not, Trump the man has done his job. Forces have been released and articulated that, whether they lose their figurehead or not, can no longer be suppressed. No one these days, I think, could be fool enough to place all their hopes on one politician; and we’d be fools indeed if we abandoned our ideals merely because a politician did.

  27. Freudenschade says:

    This is a president like no other. He is an incompetent manager and a cipher. Thus the inexplicable 180 turn on Syria policy. Expect more of the same incoherence on foreign policy.

  28. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Neither Polk, nor Lincoln, nor TDR have been tarred as such by any historian.

  29. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I agree.
    May be he though that this attack on Syria was akin to a “softening up” in the way to a deal.

  30. german visitor says:

    Donald Trump starting with mocking about fake news now a victim of these 24/7 propaganda outlets ?
    I just don’t believe it.
    So after changing from “We don’t want to oust Assad anymore we want to destroy Isis”
    to his remarks about changing his mind about him its obvious that his campaign slogan
    Make america great again turned to Make america plähd again.
    (plähd is a german exprssion for very dumb)
    That’s all i can say here from Germany watching his contribution to this staged Idlib Gas
    incident and his pathetic mourning about the beautiful children.

  31. Dante Alighieri says:

    Sir, you are of course correct, you did not “promote” Trump, and I wish to apologize for my tendentious wording. Nevertheless, I have detected in these quarters a whole lot of hope in the Trump presidency (hopes I BTW sympathize with, such as the hope he might defuse the potentially nuclear Russian confrontation) but now look completely misplaced. Personally I think there is no more time to waste pondering whether the Trump presideny is a good or a bad thing.
    Greetings (and many thanks for your great blog) from Switzerland, where the Constitution is an everday plebiscite.

  32. Ash TheLightningFan says:

    Mr. Lang,
    The Trump family’s leading hasbara agent, Bill Mitchell, introduced Bobo’s line of attack (really, defense)…this morning. I note the time difference between Mitchell’s 5:00 AM marching orders & Bobo’s 9:00 AM post.
    IMO, Mitchell is meant to serve as an avatar for what can be considered the “establishment” wing of the Trump party. It seems to ostensibly serve the ambitions of Juan Kushner & his Evita Ivanka. It is corporatist in preference, liberal in social aims, neo-con in outlook, and only mildly tolerant of nationalism.
    This morning, Mitchell comically blames Bashar Assad for flooding refugees into Europe. He declares him an “enemy” of the United States. Without a hint of irony, he repeatedly boasts of the “free world” alliance of Europe/Israel/US vs. his conception of the Axis: Russia/Iran/China.
    By contrast, you see nothing but sadness & disappointment in more respectable figures like Nigel Farage & Marine Le Pen. It is also interesting browsing through Breitbart this morning. Pam Geller expresses somewhat contempt (she uses the word “confusion”) for Trump’s betrayal* (she uses words like “sudden turn”). They also highlight the dread of Syrian Christians after Trump’s attack.

  33. Willy B says:

    Not only that, but impeachment on that basis would foreclose the option of a future Democratic president doing the same thing. Recall how the Dems refused to go after Cheney after they took control of the Congress in 2007. That allowed Obama to be as murderous as Cheney, even if his tactics, otherwise, were different.

  34. I am and have always been quite ashamed of many of the people in the Boomer generation, my generation. But try to remember that one of the major “children” of the Boomer generation was Bomber Billy, a great friend of Obama. Obama was raised on the pablum that came out of many in my generation.
    Many of us, however, never bought into that mindless “tune in, turn on, and drop out” message, or the “flower power” free sex and whatever ridiculousness they came up with.
    Many of the young men were drafted of volunteering, while others whose parents had money were partying in college to avoid the draft.
    On the other hand, many of us were working their way through college and studying hard to become the many solid people I knew and know now.
    I haven’t been able to turn on the news since Drumpf started talking about not doing what Obama did in not going through with his “red line” promise.
    I was a Never Trump person. I’ve tried to give this man some respect as our legally elected POTUS. But, quite honestly, I haven’t been made proud by most of the legally elected presidents of my adult years.
    I don’t hold out much hope either for the younger generation, the ones I taught before I retired. We turn out awesome singers, musicians, dancers and other sorts of entertainers, however. And most of them could easily fit in on the set of any “reality” television show.
    My heart is heavy.

  35. Pundita says:

    If Robert Parry’s source is correct my fear that Jared Kushner played in a role in Trump’s decision to bomb the Syrian airbase was unjustified.
    In his latest report for Consortium News Parry wrote in part:
    The source said the Trump national security team split between the President’s close personal advisers, such as nationalist firebrand Steve Bannon and son-in-law Jared Kushner, on one side and old-line neocons who have regrouped under National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, an Army general who was a protégé of neocon favorite Gen. David Petraeus.
    White House Infighting
    In this telling, the earlier ouster of retired Gen. Michael Flynn as national security adviser and this week’s removal of Bannon from the National Security Council were key steps in the reassertion of neocon influence inside the Trump presidency. The strange personalities and ideological extremism of Flynn and Bannon made their ousters easier, but they were obstacles that the neocons wanted removed.
    Though Bannon and Kushner are often presented as rivals, the source said, they shared the belief that Trump should tell the truth about Syria, revealing the Obama administration’s CIA analysis that a fatal sarin gas attack in 2013 was a “false-flag” operation intended to sucker President Obama into fully joining the Syrian war on the side of the rebels — and the intelligence analysts’ similar beliefs about Tuesday’s incident.
    But from the (UK) Express today comes this report:
    “Donald Trump carried out Syria missile strike ‘after being convinced by daughter Ivanka’ ”
    DONALD Trump’s decision to rain down 59 Tomahawk missiles on a Syrian air base was sparked by his daughter Ivanka’s “heartbroken” response to Assad’s chemical attack, insiders have claimed.
    Trump has long opposed military intervention in Syria – both as a private citizen when he criticised Obama’s intervention in the region, and as President.
    But the Republican firebrand is believed to have made his dramatic U-turn after being convinced by his daughter Ivanka’s impassioned response to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons on Tuesday.
    A source close to the first family said: “Increasingly, Ivanka is having more and more influence over her father.
    “She often counsels her father and was very clear that action needed to be taken against Assad in some form.”
    “Ivanka was infuriated over the lack of a direct response in the immediate aftermath of the Syrian attack.”
    Responding the morning after Assad’s attack, The President’s eldest daughter tweeted: “Heartbroken and outraged by the images coming out of Syria following the atrocious chemical attack today.
    Following her comments, the President’s stance on a military response began to shift, quickly claiming the attack was an “affront to humanity” and blasting Assad’s “heinous” actions.
    And the following day, hours before launching a flurry of 2,900lb missiles into the country, the President had shifted from isolation to intervention.
    He said: “I think what Assad did is terrible.
    “I think what happened in Syria is a disgrace to humanity and he’s there, and I guess he’s running things, so something should happen.”
    After the missile strike, Ivanka wrote on Twitter: “The times we are living in call for difficult decisions. Proud of my father for refusing to accept these horrendous crimes against humanity.”
    The insider added: “Ivanka has her own mind.
    “While her dad is driven by his ego and political point-scoring, Ivanka could not be more opposite.
    “She has genuine concerns for others and wants to do what is right.
    “As she was feeding her kids on Wednesday morning, she thought enough was enough and tweeted her thoughts for everyone to see.
    “The response was quite immediate and clearly helped changed her father’s views on the issue of Syria.”
    To return to Parry’s report:
    Trump immediately won plaudits from Official Washington, especially from neoconservatives who have been trying to wrestle control of his foreign policy away from his nationalist and personal advisers since the days after his surprise victory on Nov. 8.
    There is also an internal dispute over the intelligence. On Thursday night, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. intelligence community assessed with a “high degree of confidence” that the Syrian government had dropped a poison gas bomb on civilians in Idlib province.
    But a number of intelligence sources have made contradictory assessments, saying the preponderance of evidence suggests that Al Qaeda-affiliated rebels were at fault, either by orchestrating an intentional release of a chemical agent as a provocation or by possessing containers of poison gas that ruptured during a conventional bombing raid.
    One intelligence source told me that the most likely scenario was a staged event by the rebels intended to force Trump to reverse a policy, announced only days earlier, that the U.S. government would no longer seek “regime change” in Syria and would focus on attacking the common enemy, Islamic terror groups that represent the core of the rebel forces.
    There were enough rushes to judgement this past week, including my own fear about Kushner, so I’ll have to put down the Express report to speculation and hearsay. And I will assume that even if Ivanka did have influence, Trump took professional opinions into account.
    But I will note that my blood runs cold at the thought that if POTUS was in any way swayed by his daughter and her Twitter followers, then from Parry’s sources he would have put their feelings and very uninformed condemnation of Assad above not only the advice of at least two close advisors (Bannon, Kushner) but also the analyses of several intelligence professionals who get paid to advise the POTUS/CINC.

  36. Impeachment will require significant will on the part of Republicans. Trump should be impeached. Hell, he should be tried by the International Tribunal in the Hague. But I don’t think it will happen. What is certain is that Trump will be a one term President. Many of the Trump nation backed him specifically because he said he opposed foreign interventions. He took on Bush over Iraq and insisted that intervention in Syria was stupid. Well, so much for principle. He ultimately will be disgraced. The common people who would have fought for him will not be there in the future.

  37. Lesly says:

    Greg Grandin, The Nation:
    With the sole exception of Chris Hayes, MSNBC turned into something like a Patriots Day Parade, with one guest after another crediting Trump for his decisiveness. Needless to say, CNN is worse. Josh Rogin of The Washington Post reminded his Twitter followers that Trump’s bombing brings him into the mainstream: “Former senior U.S. intelligence official: This is almost exactly the strike plan Obama readied in 2013.” Indeed, just the day before, Hillary Clinton had called on Trump to “take out” Assad’s air force. NYT columnist Nick Kristof said Trump “did the right thing.” A “proportional response,” Nancy Pelosi said.
    MSNBC is to the left what Fox News is to the right. #TheResistance is muzzled in the immediate future. Trump is a simple man with simple means and methods, but he does want to be liked. The media’s effusive praise for his decisiveness just showed him how he can finally president. It’s ironic that Democrats have been turning over every rock in search of a way to impeach Trump since he was sworn into office but it doesn’t occur to them to impeach him on the grounds that he committed an illegal act of war. With morally compromised leadership like Pelosi to define impeachment standards the absence of sound and fury signifies the former hippie base has internalized endless war. It will get harder to tell one party identification from another as long as parties and voters want their team to win at any cost.

  38. doug says:

    As I said for a long time now, Trump will be assimilated or discarded. If we just look at how things stood just 5 days ago Trump was being increasingly attacked as a Russian puppet. IC leaks, innuendo, etc. Then the gas attack occurred. While Assad clearly had zero reason to do so, suicide by Trump not being in his genes, the media and establishment was so primed to be anti-Trump that the high improbability that Assad ordered this was ignored. The entire establishment media, Democrats, and many Republicans were absolutely shrill about “doing something.” Hillary stated the USA should bomb all of Assad’s air capability, establish and enforce safe zones, etc.
    Had not Trump acted, he would be discarded. Not by the 25’th but by impeachment. Likely within months. The action he took is well below that advocated by McCain, Graham, Hillary, etc. but it quenched the Trump is a Russian puppet, agent of influence, etc. For now.
    This whole thing repels me. The narcissistic Trump, who believes he can sell anybody anything with facts being irrelevant is being set up and played – he had no choice other than oblivion. This weakness was evident and being taken advantage of by a multitude inside and outside the USA. The threat of a short tenure and humiliation was not spurious. It was a real threat. Trump’s actions were done to counter that threat. I doubt Trump gave any serious thought to whether the actions were Constitutional, or within the extant AUF. In fact I don’t believe he cares about much other than his poll numbers.
    OTOH, the media, and deep state appalls me as well.
    My only hope is that McMaster and Mattis have some mitigating effect. Perhaps someday we will once again see the Constitution as a respected, foundational, document

  39. turcopolier says:

    Excellent piece from Conflicts Forum in UK. This was written by Alastair Crooke.

  40. J says:

    Steve Pieczenik is saying that the reason Trump ordered the strike is that it’s all about the deal, it was intended to impress the Chinese premier that he is serious about North Korea, and that it would impress China to apply pressure on North Korea.

  41. Degringolade says:

    I voted for Trump, he was a shit all the way. But, to take a quote from a reasonably famous article comparing the US election in 2016 to a tragedy in the past:
    “a Hillary Clinton presidency is Russian Roulette with a semi-auto. With Trump, at least you can spin the cylinder and take your chances.”
    Well buckaroo, five of the six chambers had rounds in them. The chances were never that good.

  42. Laura says:

    Degringolade, I thought the timing was definitely in Xi’s best interests. He does not “work from the gut” and has the intelligence and discipline to see the “tells.”
    Trump was a fool to give him such opportunities.

  43. Ghostship says:

    When the Democrats discover that that is all there is and that Trump duped them, then they’ll start demanding impeachment but they’ll look like the idiots they are.

  44. Sam Peralta says:


  45. Linda Lau says:

    I am following with interest this thread and the many issues it raises. I think the overall problem is that we don’t have a foreign policy and seem to have lost the concept of diplomacy altogether. I think this is a very dangerous and serious loss for the future of our country

  46. Matt says:

    I’m not medically qualified in any way, I’m an engineer,
    I’ve been looking at the ‘Indicter Magazine’ run by the Swedish Doctors for Human Rights (SWEDHR)
    they have been looking at White Helmet video’s from a medical perspective,
    is anyone medically qualified and able to judge the veracity of their findings?
    I found it a bit traumatic trying to read through it all, there are several articles but the jist is that ‘victims’ tend to be anonymous or displaced persons, often women and/or children, possibly from non IS approved social groups, i.e. christians etc. who have been taken as hostages, rendered insensible with opiate overdoses and then used as props in their video’s and subjected to highly dubious medical ‘treatments’ to give the appearance of ‘trying to save lives’
    I can understand Trump being upset by watching dying babies but he might have actually been watching babies being killed for twisted propaganda purposes by their alleged ‘rescuers’

  47. Sam Peralta says:

    Kushner’s role is contradicted by the Telegraph story that Jack linked to earlier. It may be that Jared & Ivanka were on the same team as the Democrat neocons. And as the story notes it is a takeover of the Trump administration by Manhattan Democrats. I find that much more plausible, considering the cheering of Trump by Hillary, Schumer, Pelosi, Fareed Zakaria, and the entire cast at MSNBC & CNN.

  48. Ghostship says:

    Has he gone full neo-con. Twenty three cruise missile onto inconsequential targets, the war is over and the airbase is up and running the same day. At about an hour it was short but nowhere near the shortest (Anglo-Zanzibar War 1896 – 38 to 45 minutes).
    “there is no turning back now for him”
    Did he really go anywhere. For some strange reason I’m reminded of this:

  49. Origin says:

    The Washington Post alleges that the Pentagon confirmed to Trump that the Syrian Air Force did the deed. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/horrible-pictures-of-suffering-moved-trump-to-action-on-syria/2017/04/07/9aa9fcc8-1bce-11e7-8003-f55b4c1cfae2_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_trumpdecision-910pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.fe10704b92cb Allegations abound that the attack was staged by the rebels or the result of a conventional attack on a chemical storage facility.
    Is the Pentagon so incompetent that they are confused to believe a rebel caused gassing was a Syrian Air Force attack? Or, was it a true SAF gas attack which, to me makes no sense because there is no incentive for Assad to use gas with the inevitable consequences. Did the Pentagon play Trump? Or, are we on the Committee being played with a false, false flag narrative. Or has Trump played us all because he determined he needed a demonstration of his power and to him the true cause of the gas attack did not matter and provided a great opportunity to act?
    Clearly, the cruise missile attack was a masterstroke of diversion away from the festering investigation into the possible money-laundering of the money of the Russian oligarchs and coopted the neocon Borgists.
    Where does the truth lie? The one fact that seems most unlikely to me is that Assad ordered or permitted a chemical gas attack.
    Or, more accurately, where do the liars lie?
    We, the people, are being played, big time, on multiple levels.

  50. Sam Peralta says:

    There’s no chance of impeachment when the War Party (the Democrat & GOP establishment + MSM) are cheering this decision to attack Syria on the basis of a false pretext. The only folks to publicly oppose this are Rand Paul & Tulsi Gabbard. And McCain followed up with saying that he pays no attention to what Rand says as he has no influence in the Senate.
    The fact that Trump reversed his own advise to Obama during the Ghouta incident and what he campaigned on says that he folded to the Borg pressure. The price that he will likely pay is that the alt-right feel betrayed. Just look at the comments and polls at InfoWars. Read the comments by Pam Geller in this article at Breitbart.

  51. Peter AU says:

    Running through Crooke’s article was the constant point that US has no foriegn policy as such.
    Not being American, during the US presidential election, I looked up the sites of each candidate to see how their foreign policies would affect the rest of the world.
    Most countries have a foreign minister and a foriegn policy.
    On looking up the candidates websites, none had a section foriegn policy. All that I looked at had a section titled war policy. Sanders section was called “war and peace”.
    Perhaps that seems normal to someone born and bred in the US, but to an outsider, looking at the US as a country, it shows the ingrained mentality of the US state.

  52. JMH says:

    Sorry but if Hillary were in power, H-bombs would be a flyin by now.

  53. Sam Peralta says:

    Trump has really compromised many on the right who went to bat for him during the election. This is a loss of trust. Many on the right believe in the America First theme and strongly oppose foreign interventions. It is the left that are deeply into R2P interventions. The giddiness among the MSM is a sight to behold considering how virulently they were attacking Trump just a few days ago.
    Here’s Michael Savage:

  54. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I agree with his conclusions; the confrontations between Fortress West on the one side and China, Russia, and Iran will intensify.
    As Kooshy has noted, in the absence of joint communique or a press conference, one must conclude that Trump and Xi could not agree on anything.

  55. Chris Chuba says:

    I do not agree with this argument but apologists will trot out the War Powers Act and claim that it gives the President the ability to use military force for 60 days before going to Congress. This is not true. The last time I read the War Powers Act it specifically stated that it was not loosening the Congressional authority stated in the Constitution, that it was meant as a means of allowing the President to react quickly to emergencies but not allow open ended conflicts. However, many even in Congress, indulge the 60 day shooting match theory. When DT launched the attack, he even claimed that our national security was at stake because allowing the use of WMD encourages proliferation and therefore threatens us. I believe that this attack was illegal, I am just playing Devil’s Advocate.
    Many news outlets are saying that the Pentagon is investigating whether or not the Russians tried to cover up Assad’s chemical attack by bombing a hospital to kill the survivors. This is absurd. Killing survivors would not erase the presence of Sarin poisoning or the presence of Sarin in the soil at the point of attack. I am surprised that this type of nonsense is indulged and even applauded in the MSM or the Pentagon would even sign up to it.

  56. David E. Solomon says:

    Colonel Lang,
    Just how well does anyone think the “swamp cleaning” project is progressing. Everything looks the same to me. I could not tolerate the idea of the Clintons being back in the White House and I certainly did not care for Donald Trump.
    To me it looks like the only thing that has changed post election is the names of the players.
    Very, Very Sad!

  57. Peter AU says:

    re my previous comment on the Crooke article and Presidential candidates having a war policy rather than foreign policy.
    A paragraph here from Alexander Mercouris that covers it well…
    “In a sense this provides a good example of the warped and unhealthy state of current US politics. A President and his administration can be put on the rack over entirely fictitious and evidence free allegations like those which have been made in the Russiagate scandal. However he can violate the law and the Constitution and commit murder and havoc with complete impunity. It is this fact more than any other which explains why the US political system has become simultaneously so completely dysfunctional and so extraordinarily dangerous to other peoples and countries.”

  58. BraveNewWorld says:

    “Second; an impeachment would open a real can of worms domestically.”
    Which is exactly why I suspect the Russians will chose to use leaking information on Trump is how the Russians will respond. The US electorate chose to elect a president with out vetting him. That is their right. But now they are stuck with the most vulnerable president I can recall with the exception of Nixon after he was caught. A slow drip, drip of stories about Trump and family/business can tie Washington in knots with infighting and no one knowing who is in charge or legitimate. The goal being to hurt Trump enough to cripple him but not enough to get him impeached. If I was Putin that is how I would roll.

  59. Lincoln left Congress after disagreeing with Polk over the Mexican War if memory serves. The consensus of many historians is that if the Bull Moose had won in 1912 no WWI!
    War Crimes established by the U.S. in 1945 and Associate Justice Jackson although Hugo Grotius and others laid the groundwork of the theory.

  60. Jim MacMillan says:

    House Concurrent Resolution 40 introduced in June 2013:
    “the President is prohibited under the Constitution from initiating war against Syria without express congressional authorization and the appropriation of funds for the express purpose of waging such a war.”
    Unfortunately resolutions do not carry the force of law. And HCR #40 was introduced to stop Obama from acting on his redline, so will not be brought up by this Congress to stop Trump.

  61. I do blame Ike for Nixon. And t.v. for JFK! And LBJ for Viet Nam.

  62. VietnamVet says:

    Thanks for the information posted here on SST on the dangerous escalation of ongoing mini-WWIII between the West and Eurasia. Now that the elite have brought the President to heel there will be no impeachment.
    It is astonishing how silently Xi Jinping left Mar-a-Lago. The attack was an emotional response with no thought for future consequences. It repudiates the President’s anti-war campaign promises. Now Iran, Russia and China, to survive, must grasp their hands together to oppose an insane rouge Empire.
    The Washington Post published an article on the fury of Trump supporters at the attacks.
    It fails to acknowledge that the anger is at the haughty global establishment that has tossed the little people aside. Corporate media’s sole purpose is to make more money for their owners and muddy the truth at the risk of an extinction event.

  63. Croesus says:

    Trump used Churchillian words/phrases like “civilized people” and “we seek justice;” he linked his actions to “God” and asked for “God’s blessings.” These are the trappings of Western/Christian-ish societies.
    So is Just War Theory, and no, it is not just for the lawyers, JWT has been a fundamental of Western civilization for millennia.
    Lawyer — Bush’s lawyer, in fact — and law professor John Yoo has argued that jumping through hoops before waging war is inefficient and ineffective; it should be done away with. It clutters the landscape when quick and decisive action might solve a problem before it escalates, Yoo argues. Yoo has also defended torture. Just War Theory proscribes both of Yoo’s positions.
    One more thing: Justice is blind, but it is not pre-emptive: Justice weighs and balances the evidence, and applies logic and law to the situation BEFORE it renders a judgement and executes judgment. Such a tedious process.
    But nothing in the case at hand demanded an immediate reaction: no children and women were being held at knife-point such that someone had to take immediate action, even at the risk of overturning JWT or the exercise of evidence-gathering. In fact, BEFORE Trump’s attack on Syria, the UN and the WHO did open emergency sessions to investigate and debate the case of the gas attacks to determine who was responsible; neither Trump nor his UN representative have informed the American people of those facts. In my view, Nikki Haley should be impeached along with her boss.

  64. Nancy K says:

    No it does not sound plausible. Trump has always been a loose cannon. He is the president for better or worse, however I am hoping for the best but expecting the worst. I’m not disappointed because I did not vote for him.

  65. Jack says:

    Thanks to the link to the article by Alastair Crooke. It seems the “West Wing Democrats” led by Jared & Ivanka and backed by the Goldman Sachs alumni like Gary Cohn and Steve Mnuchin have successfully executed an internal coup, sidelining the America First team led by Bannon. The sentiment expressed in many comments on many alt-right sites is “We voted Trump but got Clinton”.
    IMO, this is a political own goal by President Trump. The alt-right are pissed since this action contradicts America First which is why they so strongly backed Trump. Have the corporatist Democrats come into the WH through the back door?

  66. Joe100 says:

    Interesting piece by M K Bhadrakumar at Indian Punchline noting that the written Kremlin statement “can be taken surprisingly mild under the circumstances”. One view of all of this is that Trump knew that this was not Assad’s forces using chemical weapons and took this action as a tactical move, rather than strategic realignment – perhaps to put the “Russia connection” hysteria behind him.
    Probably too rational an explanation..

  67. BraveNewWorld says:

    Xi would not have disrespected Trump publicly while in the US. That would be considered bad manners by a guest by the Chinese and some thing to be avoided. Launching the attack while having dinner with Xi will be seen as an insult of the highest order by China especially as it was timed as an explicit message to China about North Korea.
    I am going to be watching China closely over the next while. Their reaction in the UNSC is the most forceful I have seen them in quite some time. Trump is sending a FU to China’s One Belt One Road that has to pass through either Turkey or Syria. Further the US going back to it’s “we own the the Middle East” policies are a direct threat to China energy security.
    Add on top of that all threats and trash Trump has made around trade and other areas and Trump is ramping up the hostility at an incredible pace. That may leave China with no option but to react in a way that the the US will not find pleasing.
    What I don’t see in Trump is an understanding that there are going to be consequences to his actions. Especially when you ramp them all up at once with out stopping to see how the other side reacts.
    The US is pushing China into a position where they will ha

  68. Fred says:

    That’s a good example of the clear thinking we need far more of.

  69. Ked says:

    Is there a firm definition of “high crimes & misdomeanors”? It seens to me the the Legislative Branch, being co-equal, makes constitutional law onto itself. To borrow a phrase, they can impeach & convict a ham sandwich – if that’s their will. And their will is a political one more so than one of justice… at least that’s how the presidential impeachments have appeared to me. The American polity is not as consumed by foreign affairs as this Committee is prone to be. There is not the will to impeach over these distant matters because there us no widespread urge. Now, fellatio… that’s raises the interest of the people such that politicians find courage to be small.

  70. Sans racines says:

    And a terrible piece of Russia bashing on the BBC intended to condition minds: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-39531339. Incidentally BBC radio 4 were suggesting yesterday that Putin would be using this event to claim Russia was under threat leading to strengthened nationalist policies and defence in order to bolster his chances in next year’s election… So now we know… Sheesh…

  71. Ghostship says:

    What is coming to a head at the moment? A minor bit of necessary gunboat diplomacy and that’s about it. All the old imperial powers understand it because they’ve all been there, Russia included. It’s unfortunate for the people who were killed at Shayrat air base but the issue could have caused far more deaths if it hadn’t been dealt with a quickly and neatly as it was.
    Also let’s not forget that the only alternative, Hillary “nvCJD” Clinton would, in her own words, have destroyed the Syrian Air Force by now and probably also launched murderous attacks on the Syrian government as well. Al Qaeda may well have been well on the way to taking control in Damascus and then Syrians would be looking forward to many more decades of violence. I think Trump or whoever came up with this plan made the best of a bad job.

  72. Jackrabbit says:

    I think we have to consider if Trump – the ego-driven “Negotiator” make a ‘deal’ (for himself) long before this strike on Syria.
    Like millions of others, I supported Trump’s election because Obama-Hillary Democrats were evil: corrupt, neocon-friendly, power-hungry. I bought into Trump’s refreshing ‘America First’ rhetoric.
    But there were suspicions about Trump when he entered the race. He had supported Hillary in 2008. Strangely, Hillary announced her support for airstrikes against Assad just hours before they occurred(!)
    I’m not suggesting that Trump is “controlled” by the Clintons. But Trump may reap huuge financial benefits from his being President. For that reason, Trump may be a willing participant in deceiving the American public. The Clintons are masters at pay-to-play and Chelsea is close with Ivanka (both of whom are married to conservative Jews). Did they play a ‘Trump Card’? Urging Trump to run for the Republican nomination?
    Yeah, Trump said some bad things about Clinton. So? She still got millions of votes and is still atop the Democratic Party. Our sham elections are all about a show for the electorate that keeps us divided. And the 2016 season was spectacular.

    he 18-hole course is part of a larger villa and apartment building project by Dubai-based developer Damac Properties Dubai Co. PJSC, which is owned by billionaire Hussain Sajwani….
    Damac has a second resort under development, the Trump World Golf Club Dubai, which is being designed by golfer Tiger Woods. Damac paid Trump as much as $10 million in 2015 and the first part of 2016, according to his financial disclosure filed in May.
    . . .
    Trump, the first billionaire U.S. president, didn’t divest from his assets upon becoming commander in chief, bucking a norm established over four decades by U.S. leaders and their deputies. His refusal poses unprecedented conflicts of interest given Trump’s estimated $3.6 billion in assets and more than $600 million of debt tying him to businesses and governments in about 20 countries.
    The president has said the company won’t do any new international deals while he’s in office, but moves by the business in the past month are already testing the boundaries of that vow. A hotel planned for Dallas is backed by investors from Turkey, Qatar and Kazakhstan.

  73. Sans racines says:

    Apologies the BBC link has changed: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-39540019

  74. Sans racines says:

    Col Lang
    Apologies I wrote too soon – still trying to find the correct bbc article again

  75. Peter AU says:

    I guess I’m a bit slow on the uptake, but now, whatever group in US politics has the power to impeach or block an impeachment totally controls the US. There is no longer a president nor executive power.

  76. John_Frank says:

    fyi, copy of letter sent by Pres. Trump to Congress setting out his reasons for launching the missile strike on the Syrian air base https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C86VewqW0AEk-Bd.jpg.
    As I have postulated elsewhere, I am not convinced that Mr. Trump has changed his policy and is now seeking to push Bashir al-Assad out of office through regime change.
    In any event, if it turns out that the Syrian Air Force did not launch a chemical weapons attack on April 4, but rather an attack on a weapons depot that released a chemical cloud causing a horrible tragedy, and the public turns on him for launching the air strike, will Mr. Trump blame the intelligence, saying that he was misled?
    As to the constitutional issues, please read the following four tweets and linked articles by Professor Jonathan Turley:
    The attack on Syria is the latest example of undeclared actions discussed in my recent column https://jonathanturley.org/2017/04/03/textualists-and-originalists-are-again-awol-as-the-u-s-moves-toward-greater-interventions-in-wars-on-syria-and-yemen/ … via @JonathanTurley
    Trump Strikes Syria As America’s Undeclared War Expands http://jonathanturley.org/2017/04/07/trump-strikes-syria-as-americas-undeclared-war-expands … pic.twitter.com/HJQZxPcGPD https://twitter.com/JonathanTurley/status/850315350352723969
    Kaine just pressed by Cuomo on CNN on long failure of Dems to demand declarations of war. Kaine says “So What?” and the Constitution matters
    Rand Paul Calls For Congress To Demand War Powers Authorization . . . John McCain Says Paul Is “Wrong” and Alone In… http://jonathanturley.org/2017/04/08/rand-paul-calls-for-congress-to-demand-war-powers-authorization-john-mccain-says-paul-is-wrong-and-alone-in-the-senate
    Given what Pres. Trump said in his note to Congress, what is the best way forward?
    He can side with Senator Rand Paul, put the whole matter to Congress and ask for a war powers authorization.
    Alternatively, could he ask for a more limited resolution authorizing strikes against designated terrorist organizations in Syria, the insertion of troops, building of bases and so forth in north eastern Syria to go after ISIS, (all of which is currently authorized under international law further to existing UNSC resolutions concerning Syria) and limited strikes, if necessary against the Syrian Government to thwart further chemical weapons attacks, relying on national security and the responsibility to protect under international law?
    Alternatively he can side with Senator John McCain among others and claim the necessary executive authority to act, while relying on the doctrine of the responsibility to protect under international law to justify future air strikes against Syrian air bases?
    Should he put the matter to Congress, would this not negate the threat of possible impeachment, while allowing Congress to debate the matter and decide what authority, if any to grant the President in all the circumstances?
    While this would make people like John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio and Tim Kaine unhappy, would it not give the public at large an opportunity to weigh in on the whole matter, including whether Congress should be authorizing further covert support for the opposition forces, so ending the effort to keep pushing the interventionist agenda of regime change, while supporting a political settlement?

  77. JMH says:

    Well she said take out his air fieldz plural, which would require blowing up Russian ADA sites and Russian airmen. Read: Batshit crazy and would gladly start WW3.

  78. Sans racines says:

    Col Lang
    The link in my previous comment regarding Russia bashing is correct, it is the full stop following it which is causing it to fail i.e. Should only be http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-39531339. Apologies for the messing around – new to this link extraction on typepad…

  79. Stueeeeee says:

    Our foreign minister resides in Tel Aviv.

  80. Bobo,
    The neocon stratagem of using a chemical weapons scandal to justify intervention, and that with no attempt to ascertain the truth of the matter, is fairly common. Nothing out of the way there. But as far as I could gather that’s what Trump was elected not to do. Difficult to believe that people won’t eventually notice the difference between the promise and the performance.

  81. Edward Amame says:

    RussiaGate is not off his back. And I’m still betting that the genesis of the FBI inquiry into Trump was his past (maybe current too?) business dealing with Russian oligarchs and mobsters.

  82. Edward Amame says:

    Where’d you get that 65% from? Maybe on this site and on the alt-right, but I’m not sure the general population of Trump voters feel that way over this.

  83. Edward Amame says:

    No. He saw some pics on tv, heard some options, and went with his gut. Welcome to the next almost 3.5 years.

  84. Edward Amame says:

    Col Lang
    I wonder how big the ant-war wing of his voting bloc actually was? This may not do him in. Knuckling under to Ryan/McConnell will, though. IMO anyway.

  85. The defense budget of the U.S. is completely out of whack IMO on SO-CALLED force projection policy and issues.

  86. Respectfully disagree. A riddle wrapped in an enigma?

  87. Alleged that like her father Ivanka would like someday to be President!

  88. MSNBC-Beauty over brains?

  89. IMO U.S. FP is to continue to consume 25% of the entire earth’s resources annually and to protect the DEEP STATE!

  90. John_Frank says:

    fyi – The following report from the German website DW is not directly relevant to this post. It does help provide some insight into various European leaders thoughts on the situation including the rational for the strike, whether it was justified in all the circumstances despite a paucity of public evidence being put forward in support at the UNSC meeting, whether Mr. Trump is actually seeking to push forward with regime change as some are claiming; and what steps the EU is urging on a go forward basis. Keep in mind that Pres. Trump spoke with Chancellor Merkel before he launched the missile strikes.
    EU urges diplomacy in Syria as ex-weapons inspector says US acted without proof EU politicians and a former weapons chief have urged for an investigation into a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria following a US missile strike. European leaders also called for the resumption of peace talks. http://www.dw.com/en/eu-urges-diplomacy-in-syria-as-ex-weapons-inspector-says-us-acted-without-proof/a-38345413
    Unfortunately the headline and lede is designed more to get people to click on the link. That written, it is worthwhile to take the time to read the report.
    While it really does not matter, I suspect most European political leaders would be rather surprised that some people are gearing up to impeach Pres. Trump over his decision to launch the missile strikes.

  91. Clonal Antibody says:

    Col Lang,
    While NYT may have said that Trump’s actions were illegal, Their OPEds sure don’t sound like they disapprove – Five Top Papers Run 18 Opinion Pieces Praising Syria Strikes–Zero Are Critical

    Five major US newspapers — the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and New York Daily News — offered no opinion space to anyone opposed to Donald Trump’s Thursday night airstrikes. By contrast, the five papers ran a total of 18 op-eds, columns or “news analysis” articles (dressed-up opinion pieces) that either praised the strikes or criticized them for not being harsh enough

  92. kooshy says:

    Colonel, thank you for this post, on legality and constitutionality of President’ recent action it means a lot. On the matter of our president’ change of heart, I am willing to go out on limb and say, possibly there was a peace negotiation, or a sort of compromise between Trump family and the Borg. And probably Jared was the conciliary on behalf of the family. The good thing is that Ever since Trump’ position change on Syria, CNN and NBC, have stopped beating him 24/7 on Russian connection, even Fareed loves him now, and Brayan Williams our NBC’ reporter hero loves those glowing missiles lunching out. Our president is now a hero, and time for a noble peace prize.

  93. Bill H says:

    CBS News reported that 60 Tomahawk missiles were fired; that one malfunctioned and went into the sea, and that 59 hit the targeted airfield. The piece from Conflicts Forum by Alastair Crooke says that 23 missiles hit the targeted airfield, and Moon of Alabama has reported the same number.
    I certainly do not regard CBS News as a reliable source. The Tomahawk was introduced after I left the Navy, so I am certainly not an authority, but to the best of my knowledge it is a reliable and accurate missile.
    So, can anyone confirm how many missiles did hit the airfield? If it was 23, would that be expected as normal performance for the missile? If not, what happened to the other three dozen missiles?

  94. fanto says:

    1664rm – I do remember your comment, and it was good. I wish I could find it again, but I don’t know how.

  95. optimax says:

    The US military uses about 25% America;s energy use each year. Don’t know about earth’s resources–seems high.

  96. optimax says:

    Peter au
    I wish other countries–UK, Australia, France (Israel egged us on through its Orthodox connection and gulf countries don’t count)–would quit cheering us on. Friends don’t let friends drive Fords or start fights.

  97. ToivoS says:

    Xi’s dinner with Trump at the same time as the attack may have been happenstance but there is no way that the Chinese will see it that way. It is inconceivable to them that US diplomacy could be that incompetent and allow such a coincidence to happen. They will definitely interpret this as a deliberate insult to Xi. Add this to the redeployment of the USS Vinson strike group to Korea today is just going to amplify Chinese feelings. They would be fools to think that the Syrian attack, the dinner and the redeployment are just happenstances.

  98. Yeah, Right says:

    It’s an interesting question.
    The Russians are saying that only 23 missiles struck the airfield
    (actually, not strictly true – they are saying “According to the data recording equipment, only 23 missiles reached the Syrian air base”, which is not the same thing as saying “we counted the holes, and the count stopped at 23”).
    The USA is saying that all 59 hit the airfield, and have released before-and-after satellite photos that claim to show where each one hit.
    Not sure which one to believe, to be honest.
    Has anyone with any experience eyeballed those satellite photos?

  99. Kutte says:

    Nancy and Edward,
    Maybe you are right. I had put great hopes in Trump, and maybe I just could not admit to myself that he is just like everybody else.

  100. Peter AU says:

    The Australian government are not friends. They are owned. By the US establishment, the borg as they are termed here. The Australian government put the passengers on MH17 up as a sacrificial offering to US geo-political ambitions.
    NSA, CIA ect have done their job well.

  101. Peter AU says:

    Ivanka Trumps tweets here.
    Ivanka Trump‏Verified account @IvankaTrump Apr 5
    Heartbroken and outraged by the images coming out of Syria following the atrocious chemical attack yesterday.
    Ivanka Trump‏Verified account @IvankaTrump Apr 7
    Ivanka Trump Retweeted President Trump
    The times we are living in call for difficult decisions – Proud of my father for refusing to accept these horrendous crimes against humanity

  102. Peter AU says:

    The one thing that will come of this is that Russia, China, Iran, NK ect will understand that a US ship standing offshore is a direct threat that may fire at any time without any declaration of war or any of the niceties.
    A threat like that under any circumstance would need to be destroyed.

  103. Fellow Traveler says:

    How quickly the faithful turn and how quickly the detractors run to daddy. Fickler than Trump. A month from now, everyone will be back to their safe zones. But there really should be some Godwin equivalent to the use of that word Impeach.
    As far as Clinton and the world being aglow now, I really don’t think Putin would have accommodated her with this false flag. Donald needed some breathing room, he’s gotten it.

  104. Pundita says:

    Thanks for pointing out the Telegraph report. I’d take Robert Parry’s sources over Barney Henderson’s any day when it comes to intel/security matters. But my reason for mentioning the Parry piece (and the Express one about Ivanka) was to correct myself. I had no idea who or how many in the president’s circle urged him to bomb the airfield or why, or whether it was the voices in his head that told him to do it. But there I was like a fool speculating — in public — that it was Kushner.
    However, I do have one remark about Henderson’s piece: even if his sources are right about Kushner and Bannon being at loggerheads, it wouldn’t preclude that both were against Trump bombing the airfield, perhaps each for his own reasons.
    But then again, I don’t know. The key point is that the ship has left the pier. There is no way to take back that bombing raid.

  105. Pundita says:

    Well, I read that Express piece a little differently. I don’t think the implication is that he acted from compassion or outrage, it’s that he acted on the basis of the Twittersphere opinion; specifically, his daughter’s many Twitter followers and her own Tweets.
    But as I stressed in my reply to Sam Peralta, who knows why he did it?

  106. b says:

    From my POV all wars started under false pretense are automatically illegal. To me it is not a formal vote of Congress or executive privilege that makes a war legal or illegal. It is the question of what the vote and decision was publicly based on. If a war decision is based on lies it is illegal.
    The American-Spanish war comes to mind, Vietnam of course, Iraq war II, the war on Libya, the war on Syria.
    Some others are questionable. The Lusitania did indeed carry war supplies even as the U.S. government was denying it. The U.S. had agreed to elections in all of Korea but recanted when it became clear that the communist would win. The result was war. The list is likely longer than I can recall off my head now.

  107. b says:

    There are pictures and videos available of the air field after the hits (links in my latest). Count the impacts. About 25 seems right, 59 they certainly weren’t.

  108. H R HOLDEN says:

    “I am not aware that any U.S. president was ever impeached for starting an illegal war.” It’s about time that one did, don’t you think?

  109. Nancy K says:

    He is all show, no substance, much like the wizard of oz.

  110. Nancy K says:

    I am left leaning and I’m definitely against involvement in the ME. I’m also against giving billions to Israel and Egypt.
    I agree with almost nothing that Trump says or does but I do feel money spend in improving our infrastructure, educational system and health care is money better spent.

  111. Nancy K says:

    Don’t blame the Democrats,the Republicans own it all.

  112. Yes! The best atomic ruin city vision still a likelihood for D.C.!
    And not transportation dependency grows daily for Washington metro areas and remains the nightmare of Emergency Managers.

  113. The Viet Nam vet cohort will sadly be reminded “FAIR OR FOUL” OF THAT WAR BY THE 2020 Presidential candidacy of John Kerry IMO!


  115. DoD working hard to reduce energy costs and usage.

  116. BTW as far as illegality note that both Jefferson and Lincoln covered their tracks on Constitutional violations by post-action ratification by Congress.
    The 115th Congress still controlled by opposition to President Obama not President Trump.

  117. LeaNder says:

    He took on Bush over Iraq and insisted that intervention in Syria was stupid
    did he? PT. If so I didn’t get it.
    I sure am no American insider, mainly following US events from the SST base, but from a no doubt more superficial perspective, his TRUMP card seemed to be Obama’s failures. A pretty easy thing to do.

  118. turcopolier says:

    you are confusing immorality and illegality. pl

  119. Eric Newhill says:

    Fellow Traveler,
    Now that my initial anger over Trump’s decision is beginning to cool off, I am entertaining the same thought. Putin threw Trump a bone and Trump wisely grabbed it. Now Trump is in the clear over the whole Russian hacking connection brouhaha. There are some holes in that theory, but it IS worth considering, IMO.
    The problem is that, if it is true, Trump has to be very careful that he isn’t forced to continue down the path he appears to have taken. Blackmailers don’t stop asking for more.
    Time will tell.

  120. Stephanie says:

    “We didn’t support Trump. Yes, we didn’t vote for Clinton. No, we’re not responsible for getting the man elected, rather than the woman. No, you don’t get to pretend like we’re the responsible ones, now: people like you are.”
    Location, location, location. If you live in a swing state and you didn’t vote for the loser, in this case Clinton, you voted to put the winner, in this case Trump, in the White House. Enjoy.
    (I tend to think this finger-pointing is bootless, myself.)

  121. trinlae says:

    Still, it would be interesting to try to quantify any enduring unrest in the maga base, if only to get better data on the size of the swinging middle (when alt r is combined w berneristas and libertarians and greens)), so it will be interesting to see how many reports are put forth here in the future, even if short of impeachment.
    I’m encouraged by the numbers of younger generations I see disregarding so-called authoritative facts who cull decades of counterfactual historical data from electronic archives in hours and minutes it otherwise takes the legacy parties and think tanks 6 figures and 90 days to gather, lol. [see the meme archive at @anonews.co fb page for hours of educational amusement]
    The aging baby boomers protecting the corrupt cannabalize our youth at their own peril….they will be lucky to get cardboard box burials at the foots of trees.

  122. different clue says:

    Edward Amame,
    I agree. The Dems will now be the strongest protectors Trump has against any impeachment effort . . . now that he has Stepped Up and Done The Clinton Thing. The Mainstream Graham-McCaine Republicans will be right there with them.
    The House Freedom Caucus might try to get hearings going on Articles of Impeachment, but Pelosi will beat down any House Democrats who dare to try joining them.
    If the House Freedom Caucus really tries to get such hearings going, I hope all Bitter Berners will try somehow forcing “their” Representatives to set their Clinton-worship aside and for once permit the “right thing” to be moved forward. ( “Clinton-worship”? Well, now that Trump has done just exactly what Clinton wanted to do, the Democrats will consider Trump an Honorary Clintonite now . . . even if they can’t quite admit it to their Pink Kitty Cap base).

  123. different clue says:

    Dante Alighieri,
    Colonel Lang did not promote Trump. Colonel Lang ended up saying that he would support and vote for Gary Johnson. That seemed to me to be more a declaration of personal position than any sort of promotion. But it was certainly NOT for Trump.

  124. different clue says:

    I lived in a swing state and not only did I not vote for the loser Clinton, I voted FOR the winner Trump, for reasons I have explained here before. If that makes you mad, then that makes me happy.
    At least the Evil Clinton was kept out of the office, and perhaps we can begin to decontaminate the Democratic Party from all its Clinton embeds and all its Clinton thinking.

  125. different clue says:

    Assad’s latest poison attack? When did that happen? What attack are you talking about . . . an attack by Assad?

  126. trinlae says:

    Business as usual in Beijing: Xinhua had dinner pics blitz on Twitter already!
    What is sad is the self-obsessed USA is blind to the amazing changes inside China right now.

  127. optimax says:

    Thanks for the reply, William. I wonder if that will continue with Trump?

  128. optimax says:

    Peter AU
    I can blame Israel and its lobby for many of our dysfunctions but ultimately it our, the peoples fault. Most people either believe the fake news or have their heads in the cloud. That’s why I need SST.

  129. optimax says:

    Trump cheats at golf. He could be lying abut the number of missiles launched.

  130. Yeah, Right says:

    b, some are double-taps.
    There are at least two shelters that display a pair of holes in the roof, so I would assume that all the reinforced shelters were targeted by a pair of Tomahawks.
    But I agree – even if you double-up the count for each destroyed building it is still hard to make it all add up to 59.

  131. Yeah, Right says:

    Colonel, I think that’s a fair statement. The USA does make an attempt to come up with a legal argument for its many wars.
    Or, at least, it used to: the rationale for this latest missile attack appears to me to rest on a moral argument, not a legal argument.
    But the trend-line hasn’t been encouraging for some time. The legal argument used to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq was very unconvincing, and the legal argument for dropping to boot on Libya even less so.
    It’s almost as if successive US Administrations have grown evermore tired of the kabuki dance, though Trump looks to be the first to dispense with it altogether.

  132. Trinlae says:

    Here’s a day after twitter poll put up by Xinhua to share opinions on FL meeting:

    DISCLOSURE- FORMER MEMBER! Do you know what security clearances really represent for the DEEP STATE? INITIATION BUT NOT FULL MEMBERSHIP IMO!

  134. President Trump, largely by accident, will IMO make deep inroads into the power of the DEEP STATE!

  135. Russia long ago gave up any coherence it its FP and adopted KLEPTOCRACY as its political doctrine. And most the world follows.
    And please don’t identify the U.S.!
    I have worked to clear for Senate confirmation almost 100 persons. And almost 500 PA’s! Of those 80% needed a job or wanted one for self-dealing purposes, including the next job.
    So much for NOBLISSE OBLIGE!

  136. My final take on the highly doubtful legality and the effectiveness of the missile take let’s see if the Trump Administration holds some person or group accountable after the cheerleading stops.
    And please SECDEF eliminate light missile attacks [poorly targeted also] from
    attack plans!

  137. different clue says:

    No, Syria is not responsible for the war. The Global Axis of Jihad ( GAJ . . . including the DC FedRegime) is responsible for starting the war and for supporting the Cannibal Liver Eating Jihadis (CLEJ) hard enough and long enough to keep them in the field and fighting.
    If not for massive and ongoing support to the CLEJ from the DC FedRegime, the KSA, Qatar, Turkey and maybe others, the SAR could have found and killed every CLEJ member and supporter in Syria by now. And could have indicated to every CLEJ sympathiser that if they didn’t keep their sympathy quietly to themselves, they would be killed too.
    If not for the GAJ support to the CLEJ, the Syrian government could have been spending the last few years extremely vetting all the Syrian refugees and deciding on a case by case basis which would be permitted re-entry and which would not.

  138. different clue says:

    Pacifica Advocate,
    The relationship till now between South and North Korea is very cleverly illustrated by this little clip of two diplomats interacting. Lets hope it stays at this level.

  139. different clue says:

    William R. Cumming,
    Generation follows generation. When the pre-boomers all aged out of active politics and the boomers aged into it, it became a matter of definition that all Presidents for a while would be boomers. So the boomerishness of the boomer presidents has no particular political significance.
    There were any number of boomers who would have followed the Constitution and the Laws in letter AND in spirit if they had been president. But they were never going to have the ruthless nastiness to pass through all the Darwin filters involved in getting to the Presidency.

  140. different clue says:

    How has the issue been “dealt with”? Tomahawking the air base rewards the rebels for their gas attack. Now that they now the DC FedRegime will attack Syria if the rebels launch a gas attack, they are incentivized to launch another gas attack when it suits them.
    And when they do, the DC FedRegime will attack Syria again. If the DC FedRegime attacks Syria harder in return for the next rebel gas attack, the rebels will be incentivized to make their gas attacks bigger and worse and more spectacular, so as to get the DC FedRegime to attack Syria even harder, and even more harder, and then even more harderer after that.
    So what has been solved?

  141. different clue says:

    William R. Cumming,
    Assuming the US is 5% of the world’s population . . . if the US consumed 5% of the world’s resources, how much in actual amounts of each resource would that be? And how much of each resource would that be per capita for each legal resident of the US?
    Has anyone ever actually tried to ascertain and break out those numbers?

  142. Apparently they exist for the Extractive Industries.


  144. “You must be very young, then. Are you a millenial in disguise?”
    Or maybe I just have a bad memory. But seriously, there has been no one else here. Nick Griffin (BNP) doesn’t count and Enoch Powell, apart from being one of the most incompetent politicians ever seen, didn’t do all three. Other politicians have flirted with the three issues but only for PR purposes. I’m pretty sure it’s the same in America when it comes to major politicians. Trump was the only one who based his campaign – certainly as it was seen over here – on those three issues. More than willing to be corrected if you have any names to give me.
    I don’t know how you, being closer, see it but even though Trump’s gone over to the dark side that doesn’t necessarily mean his movement has.

Comments are closed.